New Sign Ordinance Now In Effect For Buffalo

Zach Montgomery
Zach Montgomery

A new signage Ordinance, adopted last fall by the Buffalo City Council, has now taken effect, and the city's Planner and Building Inspector wanted to get the word out to the public.

A media release distributed Monday detailed the Ordinance and the requirements for business owners throughout the city, but especially those downtown.

Buffalo City Planner Zach Montgomery explains more.

The recently adopted Zoning Ordinance defines the Downtown Business District boundaries as both sides of Main St., from Hart to Parmalee Streets and from Burritt to Lobban Avenues, between Benteen and Bennett Streets.

The Ordinance has the support and backing of both the Buffalo Downtown Association and the Vision Buffalo Committee Toby Rhoades, Building Inspector for the City of Buffalo, will be distributing copies of the new Ordinance to every business owner Downtown by the end of January.

For more information, Rhoades can be reached by calling City Hall at 684-5566, ext. 6.

A portion of the media release:

What does the new City Sign Ordinance mean for Businesses in Buffalo?

After spending over a year in development and being discussed at six public hearings to gain public input, the Buffalo City Council adopted its first Sign Ordinance in the fall of last year as a means to maintain and improve upon the general aesthetics, the old-west flavor and the historic charm of the downtown business district, which has been a popular draw for tourists for decades.

With the recent creation of the Vision Buffalo Commission (VBC), the reorganization of the Buffalo Development Association into the newly formed Buffalo Downtown Association (BDA), (Buffalo’s “MainStreet” Organization), and the redevelopment of the Crazy Woman Square, the push was on to enhance and beautify the downtown business district to make this area a bigger draw to locals and out of town visitors.

Because of this, City Council decided it was time to upgrade the City Zoning Ordinance to include provisions for signage in the City and especially in the downtown business district.

What does this mean for business owners in the downtown business district who are thinking about putting up a new sign for their business, or improving upon the sign they already have?

According to City Planner, Zach Montgomery, “For signs being upgraded or installed in the downtown business district, the new Sign Ordinance requires business owners to apply for a Sign Permit with the City, so the sign and the supporting structure can be reviewed to determine if it will hold up under our wind and snow load requirements.

Once approved by the City, the application is then sent to the Buffalo Downtown Association to determine if the sign and supporting structure meet the design and color requirements which enhance the old-west flavor and historic charm of downtown Buffalo.

Signs outside of the downtown business district will only require the approval of the City. The cost for a Sign Permit is based on the value of the sign and its supporting infrastructure, and the minimum fee begins at $35.00.

Due to the smaller average size of signs in the downtown business district, the permit fees in this area should average out at about $50.00 per sign, and the average time it should take for permit approval is about five business days. For larger signs, the fees would be higher.”

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